What Type of Outlets Should I Install?

Posted on: July 5, 2017

Installing new outlets in your home is a great way to add utility and electrical access while beefing up your defense against electrical complication and failure. But if you’ve been looking into outlet installation, you may have noted just how many types of outlets there really are! Not sure what kind of outlets suit the needs of your Tampa home best? Trust the certified electricians at Hoffman Electrical to supply you with all the right answers!

For superior outlet installation services in Florida in the Tampa and St. Petersburg areas, contact the specialists at Hoffman Electrical!

What Kinds of Outlets Are There?

Good news is that choosing the right outlets for your needs is actually a really simple thing to do. Each type of outlet is designed to fulfill a specific need or safety requirement, and so it’s simply a matter of matching them up.

Important Outlet Types to Know

  • Standard 3-prong outlets. You’ll see these nearly everywhere, and a three-prong standard is referred to as a “grounded” outlet. These are the bare minimum for modern homes, replacing the old, less safe two-prong ungrounded ones since the sixties.
  • GFCIs. Ground fault circuit interrupters are outlets designed with a built-in mini breaker. When dangerous conditions are detected, such as a short, the outlet shuts off immediately, saving you potential danger and property loss (as well as the annoyance of a tripped main breaker).
  • AFCI outlets. AFCIs, or arc-fault circuit interrupters, are very similar to GFCIs in both function and appearance. The main difference is that an AFCI protects specifically against arcing, and these are typically used in different areas of the home.
  • 3 and 4-prong 240v outlets. These are those large, monster outlets you often see in basement and utility spaces. They’re mostly used to hook up appliances with a large energy demand, such as a washer and dryer.

Quality of Life Outlets

  • USB outlets. USB outlets can bring you a whole new level of accessibility and functionality in your home. These are simply standard outlets that are fitted with additional USB ports for smartphone, tablet, and other appliance hookup. Loads simpler than keeping 20 different adapters in your home!
  • Smarthome outlets. The absolute top of modern tech, these outlets can be remotely controlled via phone and tablet applications for ease of operation.

Where to Install Outlets

So now we know what they are, where are they best applied? The answer is easy enough!

  • GFCIs. GFCIs are typically installed anywhere where the outlet might be exposed to water or the elements. That includes: utility rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, garages, outdoors, etc.
  • AFCIs. AFCIs aren’t strictly necessary in many homes, as AFCI has become standard with modern breaker panels. However, if you live in an older home, or you make use of considerable amounts of power in living or office spaces, they’re a pretty good idea.
  • 240v outlets. Anywhere a major appliance will be set up, such as an HVAC system, washers and dryers, dishwashers, etc.
  • USB outlets. Livingrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms mostly. Anywhere you’d like easy small appliance access.
  • Grounded outlets. These should be 100% standard in your home by now to stay within electrical code. If you’re still using ungrounded (2-prong) outlets, it’s time to upgrade!

Your Source for Outlet Installation in Florida

No matter the size of the job, Hoffman Electrical always meets the needs of our customers. Our electricians have been installing 2-prong, 3-prong, and GFCI outlets in Hillsborough and Pinellas County, Florida since 1989 and have the tools and expertise to handle any home or commercial electrical project.

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Contact us to schedule your outlet installation in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and the surrounding Florida areas!